With the way football is loved in Zimbabwe, particularly the attachment there is between people and the national team, this day feels like election results day.
By Lawrence Mangenje
An election results announcement day is normally a watershed in the future of a country, as the individual in whose hands governance lies for five years, will be made known publicly.
That feeling of suspense, as to what the future holds, engulfs Zimbabwe today but not in terms of governance, but the future of our beloved national team- the Warriors.
The Felton Kamambo-led ZIFA administration will today, decide on the future of under-fire Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic.
Loga, as the firebrand Croat is known locally, not affectionately but simply because of the struggles to properly-pronounce his name, is one individual whose job is hanging by a thread.
He was given the biggest coaching job in the land in February 2020, and he inked a 2-year deal, in which he is earning a reported $7000 a month.
While Logarusic is smilling all the way to the bank every month, the smiles of football fans have long disappeared, due to the downward spiral the Warriors have been under the outspoken coach’s guidance.
During his tenure in the Warriors dugout, Logarusic has overseen 14 games and won only one, the decisive 1-0 win over Botswana in an AFCON qualifier, which confirmed the team’s participation at the continental extravaganza slated for Cameroon next January.
That slender win, which came courtesy of solitary Perfect Chikwende strike, is the only time a referee has written in his notebook, that the Warriors have a won a match, since Logarusic took over.
The Croat has broken record after record for the wrong reasons and how he has stayed in that position despite that poor record while ZIFA deemed Joey Antipas as not good enough despite overseeing four games, winning two, drawing one and losing one, is simply a mystery.
Despite the laxness shown by ZIFA in the midst of numerous red flags being raised over the former Sudan coach, the Kamambo-led board appear to be finally giving in to pressure, which has been cranked by football stakeholders, since the Warriors’ poor display at the Cosafa Cup last July.
The team went from being record holders to weeping boys of the regional showpiece but Logarusic eloquently-assured football fans that he would silence his critics in September, during the World Cup qualifiers against South Africa at home and Ethiopia away.
In those two matches, which potentially sealed his fate, Logarusic’s charges did not only fail to win either of them, they failed to score in both and produced timid displays.
The ZIFA board will finally sit down for the decisive meeting, at a time when some of it’s members have already publicly-recommend the coach’s dismissal.
Sugar Chagonda, who was the head of delegation for the trip to Ethiopia, penned a long letter to Kamambo asking for the axe to be wielded on Loga.
If he is fired, ZIFA will have to pay him off for the five months left on his contract and many feel that might be a stumbling block to his imminent dismissal.
The nation awaits, over to you ZIFA.